The “Frum But With It” Label Sucks

Posted on +00002006-11-19T20:03:10+00:00302006bUTCSun, 19 Nov 2006 20:03:10 +0000 5, 206

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What does “Frum but with it” mean? I have recently been trying to figure it out along with all the other common labels that I think get their induction into regular frumspeak from sites like Jdate, Frumster and Future Simchas. You know labels like Flexi-dox, and MODERN orthodox or modern ORTHODOX. Or modern machmir or liberal. But these labels make perfect sense to me and I actually like them because they make the orthodox world a little clearer cut in terms of where to place people for shidduch purposes, but frum but with it has always intrigued me.

So I have compiled a list of possible meanings of it.

You wear a skirt but go to Israeli dancing class, you keep shabbos but can tell the difference between Monet and Manet and can pronounce the two, you eat tofu, you know who Alan Freed is, you listen to Coltrane, you have a record player, you have an Ipod, you prefer Macs to Pc’s, you claim you live in Williamsburg because you are a hipster, you are an artist, you cook based on kosher by design, you know all the words to every song on your local top-40 station, you eat okra, you know there is life beyond Rockland County, you don’t tell racist jokes, you drive a Volvo, you shop at Banana Republic, you know that “cab” is not referring to a taxi, you wear the hottest sheitle in town, you can pick out all the Beatles, etc…

And of course you are frum, but since you are shall I say cultured or worldly you have gained status as a “frum but with it” person. The problem with this label is that it does absolutely nothing in terms of level of Hashkafa, just because you know when the first railroad was built does not differentiate as to what sect of Judaism you are from. You can be of the YU crowd, the Young Israel crowd, the Lakewood Kollel crowd, Boro-Parker, Chassidish, Lubavitch, UWS style, Out of Towner, Yeshivish and the tons of other crowds I am sure I am missing. Level of culture, useless information or worldly exposure does not necessarily correlate to the type of frum community you hail from, hence totally negating this label. I hereby banish the FRUM BUT WITH IT label.

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